BLACKPINK is a 4-member girl group, YG’s first 7 years after 2NE1. BLACKPINK, composed of Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé, debuted in Korea on August 8, 2016, shocking the world with their visuals and talent. Their music videos have more than 50M views and have become a hot topic in the world in a very short time. Of course, BLACKPINK has become the new Korean culture icon for Japan’s new generation girls. Even though they haven’t set a Japanese debut yet, they set a special photoshoot in Korea with Nylon Japan.
The four girls held the photoshoot under a blue sky in Itaewon, Korea. With their slender hands and feet, innocent faces of young girls, and very cutely greeting “Annyeong haseyo” with baby voices, they were completely different from the girls who give powerful performances. These girls will surely be leaders of the next generation of Korean culture. Experience the beginning of that in Nylon Japan.
NYLON JAPAN (N): You haven’t debuted in Japan yet. Please introduce yourself to girls in Japan. (Ages are Korean ages)
Lisa (L): Hi I’m Lisa from Thailand, and I’m 20 years old.
Jennie (JN): Hi, I’m Jennie, in charge of vocals and rap in the group. I’m 21 years old.
Rosé (R): Hi, I’m Rosé and I’m 20 years old. I’m BLACKPINK’s main vocal.
Jisoo (JS): Hi, I’m BLACKPINK’s Jisoo. I’m the oldest of the group at 22 years old.
N: Since you were 13-15 years old, you trained for 4-6 years. What did you do then?
JN: We took classes in singing, dancing, and languages. We studied Japanese a lot too!
JS: We also learned dancing from a foreign dancer. We also went to Japan to study too!
N: Eh? Really!?
L: It’s true! We took dance lessons in Japan for two weeks.
R: The lesson in Japan was really fun! We thought that we would want to try living in Japan. Even for only a short period, it would be nice to stay in Japan.
N: When you were trainees, what kind of artists did you want to become?
JN: Like our 2NE1 unnies, we dreamt of becoming singers who would have extensive activities internationally. This is the unified dream of the 4 of us, so we think that we definitely have to work hard from now on.
N: Your average (international) age is 19 years old, that’s young. Did anything change for you mentally from when you were trainees to now?
JN: It (Debuting) hasn’t even felt real to us yet. We still have a strong feeling of being trainees. If we have many more activities, then I think debuting will start to feel real!
JS: We still practice a lot and spend long periods of time in the practice room, so we haven’t felt a big difference (laughs). We want to showcase more different kinds of stages.
N: What did you feel when you were selected as one of the members to debut?
R: The four of us were really close when we were trainees. Our goals and our will were similar, and we would always act as 4 people. When the 4 of us became “BLACKPINK”, we though it was amazing that it was composed of the same 4 people who were always together.
N: The name “BLACKPINK” comes from the meaning that you are not just represented by the color “pink” which is called the cutest color. That you’re kawaii, but that’s not all that there is to the group. What are some cute yet cool points of each member?
R: Lisa is very cool when she dances. She’s very powerful, and even girls will feel that she’s very cool when they watch her.
JS: Everyone makes cute faces when we take pictures, but our expressions change when we go on stage. Our live performance is way cool! Lisa and Jennie are rappers, so when they rap coolly while dancing, we feel that we are very different from other girl groups. In Korea, bold and unique girls are called ‘Girl Crushes”. We want “Blackpink” to become a girl crush.
N: What are the 4 of you like in private?
JN: Lisa is very cool and charismatic on stage, but in reality she’s such a maknae! Jisoo-unnie has a beautiful face and looks gentle, but in reality she has a jokester side to her that’s like an elementary schoolboy.
L: Whenever we need to decide on something, Jennie-unnie takes care of it, like what kind of food to eat (laughs). She’s the most level-headed person! When all of us make a lot of noise, and it starts becoming louder, and we ask whether our voices are becoming too loud, she says, “It’s loud ♡” and kindly stops us.
N: During the shoot, you were taking pictures of each other using a film camera. The 4 of you are very close.
JS: It’s because we’re really together everyday (laughs). After practice we go to the dorms from the studio, and the 4 of us cook food, watch TV, talk, and play games.
L: We play board games. And card games too!
JS: We also take care of dogs. There’s Kuma and… Oh! Kuma’s name! It’s Japanese!! (Kuma is “bear” in Japanese)
N: Why did you name it Kuma?
BP: Ahahahahaha. Doesn’t it really look like a bear? (Shows a picture)
N: It really looks like a bear ♡ It’s a cute Pomeranian!
L: We take care of two dogs, the other one is named “Bandalgom” (Chinese characters mean half-moon-bear?)!
JS: When the weather is good, we take them out for walks/we go out for walks.
N: Who’s good at cooking?
JN: It depends. I’m good at pasta, Lisa with Thai cuisine, and Rosé for kimchi fried rice! Jisoo’s specialty is eating! She’s number one at eating deliciously (laughs).
N: The main producer for BLACKPINK is Teddy, who has produced many songs for YG artists. Do your songs have any special parts, or songs or phrases that you particularly like?
JN: Though we only have a few songs, all of them are “BLACKPINK-like” so we love them. Our new songs “PLAYING WITH FIRE” and “STAY” were prepared long ago, so we’re looking forward to when it’s on sale.
N: What phrase do you like?
JN: In “BOOMBAYAH”, there’s a phrase, “BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA”, that we feel introduces us, so we like it. “STAY” is our first enchanting slow tempo acoustic song. It seems like there will be an opportunity for Rosé to play the guitar, so please look forward to it!
JS: “PLAYING WITH FIRE” is a song with a strong rhythm, and we think we can show our dance performance, so please look forward to us singing and performing at the same time.
N: Rosé is good at guitar?
R: Yes. I started from when I was living in Australia, and continued practicing when I was a trainee. Next time, given the chance, I would like to show this.
N: BLACKPINK has also cemented their existence as a fashion icon. Do you have a favorite fashion or hairstyle?
L: I want to have pink hair!
JN: I want to try grey gradations/ombré.
R: I’ve had bright hair since debuting, so I want to try dark tones next.
JS: I’ve always had dark colored hair, so now that I have red hair I really like it!
L: Recently everyone’s into makeup. The makeup for today’s shoot was diffferent from the usual heavy makeup, and was fresh!
N: It seems that the aesthetic sense of the members is slowly getter better.
JS: Everyone uses face masks daily, but sometimes I use two face masks in a day.
JN: I also use face masks often. It’s because Korea has a lot of face masks! (all laugh together)
N: What kind of fashion do you usually do? Where do you go shopping?
L: I go on Instagram and the internet (laughs). We don’t usually go outside (laughs).
JN: I find cute things on Instagram and order them online.
L: On days off, we’re happy when we wait for package deliveries!
R: What I’m wearing today (Christian Dada’s Far Outer(?)), I was going to wait till the winter to wear, but I couldn’t wait anymore so I ended up wearing it today (laughs).
L: My jacket today is also Christian Dada (a designer)! I like mixing international brands, Korean brands, and Japanese brands.
N: Are there are memorable things or words that your YG sunbaenims did or told you?
JS: I was still a trainee during Christmas last year. I practiced during Christmas, and when I entered the practice room, on the desk was fried chicken. 2NE1’s Dara unnie was telling me ‘Do your best’ by leaving the fried chicken.
BP: Really, all of the sunbaenims are kind (cry).
N: It seems like there will be a Japan debut in 2017. What kind of activities do you want to do in Japan?
L: We want to do live tours and meet our Japanese fans!
N: Any place you want to go to in Japan, or anything you want to do?
JS: Fuji-Q Highland! (TN: An amusement park at the base of Mt. Fuji)
JN: I want to go to an udon restaurant! I want to eat mentaiko-udon!
L: I want to go to Universal Studios Japan! I want to ride the Harry Potter ride!
R: If I go to Japan I want to shop. Shibuya, Harajuku, Omotesando, and Don Quijote! (TN: Names of places famous for shopping. Don Quijote is a discount chain store)
N: Jennie can speak Japanese, please give a message in Japanese!
JN: Uwa- what do I do, what to say…. (TN: The following is said in Japanese) “My Japanese isn’t that good yet, but I’ll work hard and study hard, so that when I go to Japan I want to speak entirely in Japanese!”
Other members: Ohhhhhhh-! (applause)
N: Lisa is YG’s first foreign member. What made you join the auditions?
L: YG was holding their Global Auditions in Thailand. I thought to try it for the sake of trying out, and fortunately, I got accepted
N: Did you already know Korean back then?
L: No, I didn’t speak it at all. I worked extra hard after being accepted (laughs). KPOP is incredibly popular in Thailand and I really loved it too! I dreamt of someday being a performer as well, so now that my dream has come true I’m very happy.
N: Finally, please give the NYLON girls a message.
JS: Japanese is being spoken everywhere here in the filming venue, it’s as if I’m filming in Japan. It’s a lot of fun. I even mistakenly spoke to a Korean staff member in Japanese (laughs). The styling and make-up feels very much like NYLON JAPAN so it was a fun, new experience!
R: After the shoot, it made me want to quickly go to Japan and immerse myself in the culture, and I also want to quickly become better at Japanese. I want to try conversing a lot too. I ended up liking Japan’s fashion and culture even more.
N: Finally, please give the NYLON girls a message (cont.).
JN: This is a styling we’ve never done before, so it was very fresh and fun. I felt like I became a Japanese (laughs). The shooting style of the pictures was also very different, so I want to try different kinds of filiming in Japan.
L: I’ve liked Japanese fashion very much from the start. I learned that light and charming make up is popular. I want to do activities in Japan, and take the good things I learn and bring them back to Korea! I really want to go to Japan soon!! Please look forward to BLACKPINK’s activities in Japan♡. See you again in NYLON JAPAN!